After years of controversy over computers rankings, personal debates over which one-loss team was the best and frustration over lack of a college football playoff to determine a true champion, a selection committee of 13 people has been assembled to rank college football teams more accurately and decide who makes the first College Football Playoff.
The biggest changes besides pitting four teams into a bracket? No team can automatically qualify for the playoff, and there is no limit on the number of teams from a single conference.
“The format of this playoff is very simple,” Executive Director of the College Football Playoff Bill Hancock said. “The best four teams (play) two semifinals in bowl games and the championship game at an iconic stadium around the country.”
The 2015 playoffs (after the 2014 season)
Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl
at AT&T Stadium, Arlington
The Cotton, Peach, Fiesta and Orange bowls will be part of a rotation for the semifinal games in future years.
The selection committee
Jeff Long, chairman
Vice chancellor and athletic director
University of Arkansas
Term expires February 2018
(members serve three-year terms)
Former superintendent of the Air Force Academy
of Southern California athletic
Former NCAA executive vice president
West Virginia athletic
and college quarterback (at Ole Miss)
Former head coach and athletic director at Nebraska
Stanford professor, former U.S. Secretary of State
Former Commissioner of the Big East Conference
Former college football reporter,
Former head coach at three schools
Terms and Recusals
Generally, members serve three year terms. Terms are staggered for an eventual rotation. Members won’t be eligible for re-appointment.
If a member or one of their immediate family members is compensated by, provides professional services for or is on the coaching staff or administration or is a football student-athlete at a school, that member is recused. Recused member won’t participate in any votes or discussions regarding placement of his or her team into bowls.
Voting Protocol (according to collegefootballplayoff.com)
1 Each committee member will create a list of the 25 teams he or she believes to be the best in the country, in no particular order. Teams listed by three or more members remain under consideration.
2 Each member will list the six best teams, in no particular order. The six teams receiving the most votes will comprise the poll for the first seeding ballot.
3 In the first seeding ballot, each member will rank those six teams, (one through six), with one being the best.
4 The three teams receiving the fewest points will become the top three seeds. The three teams that were not seeded will be held over for the next seeding ballot.
Steps No. 3 and 4 will be repeated until the 25 teams have been seeded.
Every Tuesday starting Oct. 28
No. 1 vs. No. 4
No. 2 vs. No. 3
The committee places the top seed at the most advantageous site, considering the convenience of travel for fans, home crowd advantage and other factors.
Pairing for other bowls
All displaced conference champions and the highest ranked champion from a non-contract conference (American, Mountain West, Sun Belt, C-USA and Mid-American) will participate in the other four bowl games over New Year’s. If berths remain after those teams are placed, the highest ranked other teams will fill those openings.
Create the best match-up
Use geography as a consideration
Avoid regular-season rematches
Avoid assigning a team to the same bowl repeatedly
Consider regular-season head-to-head results
Consider conference championships
Orange: ACC vs. Big Ten, SEC or Notre Dame
Rose: Big Ten vs. Pac-12
Sugar: SEC vs. Big 12
Future playoff sites: 2016
Orange and Cotton bowls
Glendale, Arizona, on Jan. 11
Peach and Fiesta bowls
Tampa, Florida, on Jan. 9